Cosmed Group Excited to Launch a New Website and Blog3.08.12
At Cosmed Group, Inc., we are excited about the launch of our updated website and this blog. What a great way to keep in touch with our customers and the world of food safety. For more than 30 years we’ve been thinking about and talking about food safety – finally we have this opportunity to include you in the conversation.
This article from MSNBC.COM, "A Second Chance For Faulty Food? FDA Calls It 'Reconditioning'", recently made the email rounds inside Cosmed Group. "Hey they are talking about us!" OK the article didn’t mention our company by name but it discussed one of our favorite topics – microbiological reconditioning – or as we like to call it, pasteurization.
After reading the article the excitement quickly waned. It turns out that manufacturers are expected to supply safe foods but making foods safe is frowned upon.
As a consumer, which would you prefer?
- Manufacturer A tests every lot of product for pathogen contamination. When tests reveal pathogen contamination, the product is reconditioned
- Manufacturer B tests every lot of product for pathogen contamination. Lots that test positive are destroyed.
- Manufacturer C assumes that every lot is contaminated. They take measures to minimize that risk and pasteurize their products routinely. The company tests loads for pathogens after pasteurization.
Manufacturer A is described by the MSNBC article. After finding a problem with their product the manufacturer reconditions the load. This common practice in food manufacturing is generally consistent with guidelines published by the U.S. FDA and other regulatory bodies.
As the article suggests, Manufacturer B’s behavior is uncommon. While the article ascribes this fact to corporate profit seeking, it is more accurate to say it’s a matter of corporate survival. The company would not be cost competitive with Manufacturers A and C. Furthermore, when there are effective methods to pasteurize food why should it be destroyed?
Partly due to regulatory pressure and partly due to market forces Manufacturer C represents the direction the food manufacturing industry is heading.
Consider the recent foodborne illness outbreak related to cantaloupes. Who among us is surprised to hear that cantaloupes, which grow on the ground, might be contaminated from time to time? No matter how hard the grower tries to prevent contamination Mother Nature will have her way in the form of contamination from wind, from water and from the random bird dropping. The grower should and must take measures to reduce dust, rely on safe water sources for irrigation and implement an effective pest control program. Further they must implement a validated pasteurization step and conduct routine testing to confirm the effectiveness of the control measures.
The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act adds provisions and enforcement requirements to existing regulations. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), another food manufacturing regulation, requires manufacturers to identify hazards and implement systems to control them.
At Cosmed Group we are proud to be a link in the safe food supply chain. Our customers are responsible manufacturers who recognize and address the risks inherent with their products. Our pasteurization processes are tools to ensure that the spices, nuts, and dried vegetables on your dinner table are safe and wholesome.